DICAPac WP-S10 waterproof housing test run

That’s what a foam seahorse, courtesy of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, looks like when shot underwater in my bathtub. Great smile, no?

That was the best I could come up with on short notice to test drive the DICAPac WP-10 SLR waterproof housing I bought on a whim late last week. I’m not much of a diver, but the ability to shoot underwater does sometimes come in handy – that’s how the rationale played out in my mind when I found this staring down at me on a shelf, with a 99 EUR price tag.

The lighting in my bathtub isn’t quite ideal – the shot above, and the last one below, were taken at 1600 ASA, f5.6, 1/30 – so forgive the grain and crappy light. That had nothing to do with the housing, which worked remarkably well.

The first test involved some paper towel scraps and my kitchen sink. Several dives from all directions and a full force rush of water from the faucet, and not a single drop was discovered.

From its bulky predisposition, actual usability was predictably awkward. There are some finger sleeves in the lens casing portion and another on the back right side with access to controls and for snapping, but its design at the front, with plenty of spare space when using a smallish standard lens, is quite tricky. At least when it’s being used in a bathtub. I’ll see how it works when I’m actually positioned behind it. (By the way, Vinakoper’s Shiraz is getting better with each vintage.)

The trickiest part is the casing around the lens. Made to fit slightly longer lenses, it can be extended and retracted, but doesn’t stay in place very well. The ‘lens cap’ is similar to a UV filter.

This model is built to handle depths of up to five meters. But I bought it mainly for security’s sake when rafting or kayaking. I’ll be doing some sea kayaking in Vietnam in a few weeks, where I hope to snap something of interest below the surface of Halong Bay that isn’t litter or pollution. Maybe even a sea horse.

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